By: Shubham Ghosh
The annual dance show of Sampad, a leading cultural organisation in the UK helping to establishing south Asian arts across the country — Asian Spring — will take place on February 26. It will be a special occasion this year as Sampad’s community dance showcase will be entering its 25th year and more than 80 amateur dancers will be welcomed on the occasion at the venue — Birmingham Town Hall.
Asian Spring is produced by Sampad South Asian Arts and Heritage, who have been connecting people and communities to South Asian and British Asian arts and Heritage for more than three decades.
Fifteen individual performances, brought together with expert knowledge from compere and BBC presenter Satnam Rana, will be presented at the event and a wide range of styles — from classical Kathak and Bharatanatyam to contemporary Bollywood and Bhangra — will be showcased.
Among the participants are the students of the national Centre for Advanced Training Yuva Gati. An elite training programme for those between 11-18 and who show exceptional talent and potential in Bharatanatyam and Kathak, Yuva Gati is funded by the department for education’s music and dance scheme, and is led by FABRIC, the new strategic organisation created from the merger of Birmingham’s DanceXchange and Nottingham’s Dance4, in partnership with Sampad South Asian Arts and Heritage.
Speaking about Asian Spring, FABRIC CEO Paul Russ said, “Yuva Gati showcases the work of the future leaders in south Asian dance from across the UK and we are delighted to be performing in Asian Spring this year. Our students love being part of the celebration packed with music, talent and joy!”
Audiences can also expect to be enthralled by Sonia Sabri’s Kathakaars. The Kathakaars are participants of internationally renowned Sonia Sabri’s weekly Kathak class, aimed at strengthening and nourishing students physically, mentally and emotionally.
Trained by Sonia Sabri, Sarvar Sabri and other members of the teaching Ffaculty, the classes are specially designed for all ages and abilities, giving everyone the chance to perform on the legendary Town Hall stage.
“Sonia Sabri Company’s Kathakaars are delighted to return to Asian Spring and perform live on stage after a long wait due to the pandemic. The students have been persistent with their training and their love for dance is infectious. We are super excited to perform Kathak to a warm supportive audience that Asian Spring always brings together!” Sonia said.
Bollywood Dreams, the largest Bollywood dance organisation in the West Midlands, has been performing at Asian Spring for 19 years.
Set up over a decade ago by artistic director Reena Tailor, Bollywood Dreams provides outstanding dance training to over 180 students, aged four and up.
They teach at seven different locations on seven different days of the week across Birmingham, Solihull and Wolverhampton.
“Bollywood Dreams Dance Academy loves Asian Spring because it brings together all our local dance friends!” Tailor said.
The vibe can be felt by the audience too, as when they’re not performing, the various groups are sitting among the audience, cheering on their fellow dancers.
The groups that make up the rest of the dancers are Anjali Dance, Atreyee Dance Group, Bengali Association Midlands, Chitraleka Dance Academy, Devyani Dance Group, Gospel Oak Elite Dance Team, India Island Academy, Kaishiki, Nilakshi’s Bells & Beats and Raas Rang by Charu Gaur.
Sampad’s executive director Sabra Khan said, “Asian Spring has now been running for over 20 years, and it’s an amazing opportunity to celebrate the amazing diversity of south Asian dance that is created by communities in the West Midlands. It’s a great family friendly event that will leave your heart singing and your feet tapping!”
Tickets for Asian Spring can be bought here, with a family ticket costing just £24 for two adults and two children.